June UTA message from the Wing Commander

  • Published
  • By 927ARW Public Affairs Office
  • 927th Air Refueling Wing

927 ARW Citizen Airmen,


I want to start this message to you by recognizing the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we have been executing our UTAs and you have stepped up to the challenge by being flexible, responsive to your chain of command, and finding ways to work effectively remotely.  Thank you so much for all you have done over the last few months to stay ready, responsive, and relevant.  In addition to your Reserve duties I know many of you are having to navigate working from home for your civilian jobs without school and child care and/or are struggling with furloughs and layoffs. It has been a rough couple of months and as we get closer to our June UTA this weekend we are witnessing and experiencing civil unrest in our communities the likes of which our nation has not seen in a long time.


These are all heavy, impactful issues and coping with their effects can really test our resilience.  Now, more than ever, it is important to pay attention to our mental, physical, spiritual, and social health so that we are able to navigate these changes with positive and helpful responses.  Please know you are not in this alone; we are here for you to help, to listen, whatever you need.  Remember the dozen Airmen who stood in front of you at the Commander’s Call so you could know they are here to help?  Those chaplains, the Director of Psychological Health, the IG team, the A&FRC team, and other support personnel are all still available and want to help you, but they are not the only ones.  We are all here for each other as brothers and sisters in arms.  Please talk to your fellow Airmen, supervisors, First Sergeants, Chiefs, and Commanders.  Share how you are really doing and feeling and what you are struggling with because you are likely not the only one.  There is goodness in knowing you are not alone; we hear you, we see you, we care, and we can help.  


For the June UTA this weekend we will be doing a partial in-person UTA with approximately 350-400 reservists at MacDill.  As this is being sent, MacDill is still in HPCON C and in phase 1 of the installation reopening plan and still operating under a public health emergency.  Most of the Airmen attending the UTA in person are from the operations and maintenance groups as well as limited staff from mission support and the wing staff. If you have not been notified you will be attending in person, you are likely continuing to telecommute this UTA, but check in with your supervisor if you are unsure.  


I have set the condition that everyone must be mission essential to come to the base.  Liberal rescheduled UTAs are appropriate for anyone who is not directed to attend the UTA in person and/or who cannot accomplish their duties by telecommuting on the Sat/Sun of the UTA.  We plan to execute a full flying schedule this weekend, complete quarterly 801X certification, and accomplish multiple maintenance tasks/qualifications that cannot be done remotely and are necessary to prepare for our upcoming deployment.  Additionally, we will have some aeromedical evacuation Airmen here to accomplish training in support of our upcoming AE deployment.   


To reduce risk to force, we have coordinated with the 6th ARW commander and PHEO.  We will follow any additional Public Health guidelines, such as temperature screening, as required by the 6th ARW ensure that all social distancing policies are in effect (no large groups, mask wear, hand washing, no hand shaking, etc.).  Additionally, any risk to force for MacDill would be lower because I expect a much smaller number of active duty Airmen to be on base when our reservists show up since it is the weekend. 


It is my intent that every wing member is able to work the Apr, May, and Jun UTA periods for pay and points.  This may be in person at MacDill or in a virtual/telecommuting environment (which could be accomplished either on the scheduled UTA dates or liberally rescheduled dates based on the needs of your supervisory chain).  If you still do not have the ability to work remotely, please communicate this with your immediate supervisor so we can work a solution.


Options for items that can be accomplished in a telecommuting status include but are not limited to: TMT taskers, MICT communicators (either assessing or validating), MICT deficiencies, IGEMS CAPs, UOOs (worked military duty that has not been paid to member), GOOs (travel accomplish by the member that has not been reimbursed), OPRs, EPRs, PRFs, awards packages (either wing level or above wing level), STEP II packages, military decorations, ADLS CBTs, Greenbelt Certification, or SAPR and Suicide Awareness Training.  The idea is that as a wing we need to complete as much of the administrative tasks that we can now during this telecommuting environment so that when we can meet again in person as an entire wing for a UTA, we can focus solely on the hands-on tasks that require us to train in-person.


We are in unprecedented times and I appreciate your commitment to continue to serve and to do so with flexibility as our leadership teams work to do all they can do to keep you safe, continue the mission, and ensure we are ready for the next fight.


-Col Doug Stouffer